Sherman Alan Adams feels he finally has his life back after shedding 255 pounds.
Adams, who at his heaviest weighed 535 pounds, still wants to lose 30 more to reach his goal. He is 6-foot-4-inches tall and now weighs 280.
"My brother in Florida said when I get down to 250, he is going to fly me down there and take me to my favorite restaurant," Adams said.
Adams, 50, said his battle with weight loss began when he was just a kid and he isn't sure why. He was one of five children born to Gloria and Sherman Adams, both now deceased. His father was a preacher and his mother a homemaker. As he was growing up in Charleston, he recalls playing outdoors and riding his bike all over town.
"When I was in fifth or sixth grade, I started picking up weight," he said. "I was active and played outside. The only rule was to be home before dark."
As he continued to gain weight throughout the years, he tried various diets, pills and programs. The result was a yo-yo effect of losing and then gaining back that weight along with some extra pounds.
Two years ago, he hit his highest at 535 pounds, a dangerous weight that took a toll on him mentally and physically.
"It depressed me," he said. "I ate anything I wanted. I was sedentary. I was on diabetes medicine, blood pressure medicine, and pain pills for my knees and ankles."
Then he got an infection in his left leg that led to further complications. He went to an area hospital on June 1, 2011, and stayed for 21 days, including nine in intensive care. A team of doctors worked to save him as his lungs filled with fluid and his organs began to shut down. He was fed through a tube.
"They gave me massive doses of antibiotics," he said. "My weight was a factor in getting that bad. I nearly died."
After recovering he knew he needed to do something drastic in order to live.
He said one of his physicians, Dr. Greg Rosencrance, is a lifelong friend who told him he did not want to lose him.
"I had lap band surgery on Aug. 25, 2011," he said. "Dr. Sam Rossi did the surgery. They made five small incisions. I had broth for dinner and went home the next day. I was off work for two weeks."